The Nursery at St Chris – which we call the Monte because of its Montessori origins – accepts children from the start of the term that they turn three. The Monte is a special place where children grow in confidence, develop a love of learning, show their care for themselves and each other, make friendships that continue on into school, and have huge amounts of fun!
Children start to learn about the world around them from the moment they are born. The care and education offered by the staff in the Nursery helps children to continue to do this by providing opportunities and activities that are appropriate to each child’s age and stage of development.
The Nursery is divided in to two year groups: Half Monte (aged 2-3) and Top Monte (aged 3-4).
The Nursery is located in the Early Years Centre (EYC) along with our Reception class. Alongside extensive classroom space, the EYC has dedicated outdoor and indoor play areas, a music room, library and Forest School.
Children come to the main school building for lunch each day, and for weekly swimming and PE lessons.
All children come to the Nursery five mornings a week. If needed, we can arrange for a staggered start during the first month, so children build up to the full hours. The day starts at 8.30am and ends at 1.30pm, and includes a hot lunch. Parents can also book for their children to stay for the afternoon session which runs until 3.20pm.
St Chris offers Wraparound Care to support parents’ working hours which runs from 7.30am to 6.30pm, five days a week. Please click here for more information about Wraparound Care.
We welcome you to come and look around the Nursery on a normal working day. Please click here to book a visit.
In the Nursery and, continuing on in Reception, our approach to learning is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. Our independence enables us to dovetail the EYFS with the very best Montessori practices to provide the best of both worlds for our children, ensuring that play is at the heart of everything we do.
Within the Nursery, and continuing on into the Junior School, we follow a topic-based cross curricular approach to learning, balancing both child-initiated and adult-led activities.
The areas of learning comprise:
Children have weekly swimming, Forest School, PE, and music lessons. We gradually introduce technology with children using computers, iPads and programmable toys.
The children are taught in the main by the Nursery team – see below – but have specialist teachers for music, PE and swimming lessons.
All children attend the Nursery for five morning sessions a week, and parents can also opt for their child to join us for afternoon sessions, which are booked in advance. We vary the activities but generally they tend to include:
We use Tapestry as an online learning journal to observe and record your child’s progression during their time in the Nursery. Each child is observed individually and in an on-going way, enabling us to make informed decisions about how best to support them. It also helps us track them against the EYFS framework, enabling us to ensure that their developmental progression is supported.
You will be invited to two parents’ evenings a year and you will also receive two school reports – one at the end of the autumn term and one at the end of the summer term. The Nursery staff are also available to speak to at drop off and pick up, and can be contacted for an appointment at any point during the year.
Start of the school day.
Children can be dropped off at the Early Years Centre from 8.00am.
|8.30 to 10.00am||Session 1|
|10 to 10.30am||Playtime|
|10.30 to 11.30am||Session 2|
|11.30||Lunch in the main school|
Nursery morning session ends
Monte afternoon session begins
End of the day
Children can join a club in the Junior School (until 4.30pm) or go to After School Care in the Junior School (until 6.30pm). They will be accompanied by a member of staff to the Junior School.
Lesley joined St Chris after a career in childcare spanning 37 years. Her career began as a nanny both in the UK and in Canada and she has worked in a variety of settings including Westbury Nursery supporting children with special needs; setting up a bi-lingual kindergarten in Montreal, Canada; as a manager for Bupa childcare. Most recently Lesley undertook further training to become a Forest School leader with a Level 3 qualification. With Lesley’s support, the children have created a Forest School within the grounds of the Early Years Centre.
Sarah joined St Chris in 1984 as a Montessori Directress. After 10 years at the Monte Sarah left to have her own family. She returned in 2007. During Sarah’s career she has worked in an elementary school in Boston, Massachusetts. She was also a class leader in a local independent nursery and has been a respite carer for Dementia sufferers.
Tasha joined St Chris in 2013 as a Nursery Nurse. After gaining her NNEB in 1989 Tasha worked abroad as a children’s holiday representative in Spain. Once she returned to the UK she took on a challenging post of working with families who had relatives in prison. Once married, Tasha and her family moved to Australia where they enjoyed many happy years. In Australia Tasha’s career in childcare continued.